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Fuel pressure issue sees Vandoorne out of qualifying early

Australian Grand Prix – Stoffel Vandoorne was knocked out of qualifying early when a fuel pressure issue struck his McLaren.

The Belgian only did an out lap before he was called back into the pits. Once the issue was resolved, Vandoorne had only one lap to try and make it into Q2.

However, Vandoorne could only manage 18th which saw him out after the first round of qualifying.

“I had a fuel pressure issue in Q1 and had to abort my first two runs as the engine was running low on power,” he said.

“That was a shame – because, after FP3, everything was heading in the right direction and I was feeling confident. But it’s always difficult when you only get one opportunity to set a time because you can’t take risks and have to make it really count.

McLaren were showing signs on surprisingly good pace after a disastrous time in pre-season testing, which saw numerous mechanical and performance issues.

After Friday practice is was a realistic target to have both cars into Q2, despite it being revealed that the drivers were having to upshift early to minimise Honda’s power unit osculation issues.

“We’ve made some good steps forward this weekend: Fernando and I both feel more comfortable in the car, and that confidence means we’re able to push it a little bit more. 

“Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do, but we can take some positives from the potential we’ve shown so far this weekend, and I think we can have a good race tomorrow.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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